Mont Valérian

Posted on May 2, 2010 in Paris Stories | 0 comments

The sun lasted just long enough this morning for a bike ride up to Mont Valérian and the American Military Cemetery.

View from Mont Valérian

This destination is 5 miles from my apartment but you feel like you’ve gone far far away.  It’s a killer hill (don’t know the grade).  When you arrive at the top, the breathing goes back to normal but is taken away again by the spectacular view of Paris.

Crypt with sculpture reliefs

What I find amazing when I stand in front of this WWII French memorial, is how so few people ever stop to look at it!  The sculptures alone are at least worth a glance.  More than 1000 men were executed here by the Germans.  Behind the wall, there is a crypt where the caskets of 16 fighters from 16 battles lay at rest.  A 17th is empty waiting for the last “companion of the liberation” to die.

By guided visit, someone will take you up around the hill to the chapel where prisoners were locked up before execution, and down to the Clairière des Fusillés, the clearing where they were shot.

American Military Cemetary

The scene at the American military cemetery is much more serene.  When I ride up here, I usually stop to rest and reflect.  It’s peaceful and the grass feels nice under my feet.  Our government is doing a fine job maintaining it.  Thank you!

 

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